Cranborne Chase : Field Diary Day 1

Today was my first day I was on site at Down Farm. The initial hour was spent mostly getting to grips with the site and talking over the logistics of the excavation. My lecturer Tim Sly was our guide and explained where Wessex Archaeology had excavated before. We looked through some of the previous discovery’s at the site including some fabulous pottery and flint work. It was really interesting to have a look at how excavated sites degrade, the previous pits having been left exposed.

The place on the farm that we are excavating over the next too weeks is called  Home Field –  thus our site code is HF17. In terms of Archaeological work it was fairly limited. I spent a few hours cleaning the surface of the trench by removing the top soil to expose the underlying chalk and making features visible. The majority of the top soil had been striped by machine the previous day but as predicted the stratigraphy is incredibly shallow.

For example post holes are very visible on the chalk and are displayed as dark circular features. We encovered a range of features other then post holes including tree fells, pits and and trenches. 

In the afternoon the owner of the farm and an almost legendary archeologist  Martin Green toured us around the site. We began by visiting his on site museum that displayed an amazing range of artifacts found on the farm and land that surround it. If you ever get the chance it is well worth a visit ! After this we walked around the perimeter of the farm and discovered the wealth of Archeology Martin had descovered. The most spectacular of which was known as the gateway to hell by everyone on site. The hole stretched 15-20 feet into the ground and was carved into the solid chalk. This mysterious feature was utterly astounding and rather took my breath away. 

All in all it was a wonderful start to our excavations.  

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